"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, May 05, 2006

For Better or Worse? - 4 and a half years from 9/11 - VDH

The Middle East is a struggle of a different sort; it is an existential one in which defeat means more attacks on the United States homeland, while victory in changing the landscape of the region presages an end to the nexus of Islamic terror - Victor Davis Hanson
From National Review Online:

After September 11, there were only seven sovereign countries in the Middle East that posed a real danger to the policies and, in some cases, the security of the United States—Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Ignoring the hysteria about the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, if we look at these states empirically, have they become more or less a threat in the last five years?

The Taliban in Afghanistan was actively harboring bin Laden and al Qaeda. Without their support, the mass murder on September 11 would have been difficult to pull off.

Iran was the chief sponsor of Hezbollah, which had killed more Americans than any other Islamist terror organization and was rumored to be at work on obtaining nuclear weapons.

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s agents were involved in the first World Trade Center bombing. They were also meeting with al Qaeda operatives throughout the 1990s and offering sanctuary both to al Qaeda offshoots in Kurdistan and, later, to veterans from Afghanistan. As the U.S. Senate observed in 2002, this was in addition to the general problems of no-fly zones, oil-for-food, violations of U.N. and 1991-armistice accords, and periodic retaliatory American bombing.

Libya was a de facto belligerent of the United States, provoking past U.S. air strikes on Tripolis. Among other things, it was involved in the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing and had a clandestine WMD program.

Continued here...


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